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Author Notes:

Corresponding author and contact for reprint requests: Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc., Associate Professor, Chief, Section of Hospital Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health, 1215 21st Ave S, Suite 6000 Medical Center East, Nashville, TN 37232, 615-936-3525, 615-936-1269 (fax), sunil.kripalani@vanderbilt.edu.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Kripalani serves as a consultant to and holds equity in PictureRx, LLC.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

The project described was supported by Award Number K23HL077597 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Dr. Kripalani has received investigator-initiated grant funding from Pfizer, Inc. and has served as a consultant to Pfizer, Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Medicine, General & Internal
  • General & Internal Medicine
  • communication
  • health literacy
  • transitions of care
  • ADVERSE EVENTS
  • MEDICATION USE
  • CARE
  • DISCHARGE
  • MORTALITY
  • ADHERENCE
  • OLDER
  • DISCONTINUATION
  • ASSOCIATION
  • INFORMATION

Health Literacy and the Quality of Physician-Patient Communication During Hospitalization

Tools:

Journal Title:

Journal of Hospital Medicine

Volume:

Volume 5, Number 5

Publisher:

, Pages 269-275

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Overall, poor physician-patient communication is related to post-discharge adverse events and readmission. We analyzed patients' ratings of the quality of physician-patient communication during hospitalization and how this varies by health literacy. METHODS: Medical patients were interviewed during their hospitalization to assess personal characteristics and health literacy. After discharge, patients completed by telephone the 27-item Interpersonal Processes of Care in Diverse Populations Questionnaire (IPC). Using the IPC, patients rated the clarity and quality of physicians' communication during the hospitalization along the following 8 domains: General clarity, Responsiveness to patient concerns, Explanation of patients' problems, Explanation of processes of care, Explanation of self-care after discharge, Empowerment, Decision making, and Consideration of patients' desire and ability to comply with recommendations. RESULTS: A total of 84 patients completed both the in-hospital and telephone interviews. Subjects had a mean age of 55, and 44% had inadequate health literacy. Overall, patients gave the poorest ratings to communication that related to Consideration of patients' desire and ability to comply with recommendations. Patients with inadequate health literacy gave significantly worse ratings on the domains of General clarity, Responsiveness to patient concerns, and Explanation of processes of care (P < 0.05 for each). In multivariable analyses, the relationship with General clarity did not persist. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians received relatively poor ratings on their Consideration of patients' desire and ability to comply with recommendations. Patients with inadequate health literacy experienced lower quality and clarity of hospital communication along multiple domains. More attention to effective health communication is warranted in the hospital setting.

Copyright information:

© 2010 Society of Hospital Medicine.

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